Colin Kendon is head of employee incentives and benefits at Bird & Bird.
At its most effective employee share ownership gives employees an interest in the financial performance of their employer, it makes them think like owners and it improves productivity.
By introducing all-employee plans that do not require low-paid employees to fork out cash until they are in a position to fund it through share sales. For example: CSOPs operated on an all-employee basis.
Cash flow. The two so called "all-employee" share plans are not in practice taken-up by all employees – only those that can afford to save. We don't require executives to fork out cash to access equity so why require it of employees who can't afford it?
Shares for rights has made a huge contribution and will continue to do so for years to come. It allows unlisted companies to attract talent from safer jobs by offering attractive equity incentives and that has to be good for productivity. Wouldn't it be great to have a study into the productivity gains for a change instead of having to listen to complaints about the (probably lower) tax costs?
What is now Part 7 ITEPA 2003 – it changed most of the landscape almost overnight.
Ability for companies to buy-back their own shares pursuant to employee share plans without distribution treatment applying.
Playfish Limited - EMI plan. Option gains were $100 million, the tax savings represented around 25% of the cost of EMI plans to the Exchequer for the year they exited. The team took a big risk, paid themselves low salaries for 2.5 years and it paid off.
The main parties accept it is better for employees to have a stake in the companies they work for. I hope they also continue to accept it is better to encourage people to take a risk by becoming entrepreneurs' and choosing to locate in the UK.
Growing Vegetables (Royal Horticultural Society's Encyclopaedia of Practical Gardening) by Tony Biggs. Fantastic read – I won't spoil it by giving away the plot.
Becoming a partner at Bird & Bird – had to build up the practice following the 2008 crash to get there.
I suppose I would have run the family farm.
When not acting as a chauffeur for my kids and / or watching them play sport - looking after my allotment.